When I was pregnant with N, baby showers weren’t really that prolific in the UK, although a pregnant colleague and I did have a ‘baby shower’ afternoon tea goodbye with our team. I’ve never really been one to automatically think of going for afternoon tea either, but when my NCT friends started having 2nd and 3rd babies, we got into the habit of having a ‘baby shower’ afternoon tea with them. The latest was afternoon tea at Mallory Court.
It’s all very civilised, none of the showy party bag, decorations, huge party that you sometimes see in the examples on the internet in the US. Just a few of us (7, if we can all make it), leaving the children at home with husbands, and a couple of hours at nice hotels for afternoon tea.
Ok, so we have done a few games as well, but mostly it’s a chance to catch up as a group, find out what the pregnant friend will be planning for when the baby arrives, and enjoy the surroundings. So far, we’ve been to some lovely places, none of which would have been on my radar had we not done these occasions.
Mallory Court, near Leamington Spa was the last venue for our baby shower rotation. I’d never been before, but it was a lovely place, even though the fog didn’t let us see much of the grounds.
The staff on reception and the waitressing staff were all really welcoming and helpful. Although you imagine nice hotels to be a bit stuffy, me turning up in jeans (it never occurs to me to dress up), didn’t have them bat an eyelid, and they were chatty without being interfering.
We were able to relax in the lobby area until our group had all arrived, being brought our drinks. Then we were taken through to our table and chairs for our afternoon tea.
The food looked wonderful, and was really nicely presented. We all ordered different drinks, not all of us having tea or coffee. I had an amazing pot of hot chocolate that was delicious.
There was only one other group there having tea at the same time in our room, so it was nice to have it pretty much to ourselves. It meant we could get out the baby shower game we had, and not worry about making too much noise and disturbing anyone else enjoying a quiet Sunday afternoon.
We ate ham & mustard, cheese & pickle and cucumber sandwiches, smoked salmon on little muffins. Then scones, parfait and fruit, white chocolate profiteroles, banana cake and chocolate macarons. We did have a laugh when one of us realise that the macaron crème was only round the edges not across the whole of the macaron.
The food was really good – I’ve a sweet tooth so loved the variety, and there wasn’t much food left by the end of our tea.
Some people gave presents, although I prefer to wait until the baby arrives so I know if it’s a girl or boy. As usual it was fairly light on the baby aspect and high on the chat, catching up and opinions that we’re all so good at when we get together.
Afternoon tea is a great chance to catch up and do something a bit different with a small group of friends. A baby shower doesn’t have to be the big showy event that the name often makes you imagine.
If you want to add some games to the mix, here’s a couple I found that would work nicely with an afternoon tea setting…these can all be done sitting down, in teams or individually and don’t require lots of extra props or expense in setting them up.
(Ok I have to admit we did end up playing the ‘guess the chocolate type in the nappy’ game, not quite the setting and we probably wouldn’t have played it had it been busier)
Baby shower games
1, Top 40 baby songs
Split into teams and in a set time come up with as many songs as possible with the word ‘baby’ in the title. Winning team is the one with the most songs.
2, Paper doll baby
Give each person a piece of paper, and you have a set time in which each person has to tear a baby shape from the paper behind their backs. Winner is the most accurate (or funny) one.
3, Celebrity baby face
This needs some preparation. Give each team a sheet of paper with pictures of celebrities on and another piece with pictures of them as babies or children. The teams need to match the baby pictures to the adult they’ve become. You could also do this with the people at the baby shower if you ask for copies of photos beforehand. Winner is the one with the most correct answers.
4, Baby bucket list
Each guest writes a tip or activity they did or would do if they had a baby. All are put into a pot, then given to the mum to be to read out, and then keep afterwards.
5, Baby bingo
Some preparation – create print outs with baby themed words on. Each bingo card should have a different mix of words (some can overlap). Each person gets a card, and each time that word is said they mark it off on their card. The winner is the person who fills their card first and shouts out (or says) baby bingo.
Did you have a baby shower?